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Seat Belts on Buses and Heights Preservation: Thursday’s Show (December 3, 2015)

Months after a fatal school bus wreck, HISD’s board approved a policy requiring three-point seat belts in any new school buses the district buys. The decision came on the heels of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration changing its stance on seat belt use. The NHTSA now says all school buses should have three-point belts, like those […]

Months after a fatal school bus wreck, HISD’s board approved a policy requiring three-point seat belts in any new school buses the district buys. The decision came on the heels of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration changing its stance on seat belt use. The NHTSA now says all school buses should have three-point belts, like those in cars. The federal agency in charge of traffic safety had a longstanding position not to advocate for seat belts on school buses. On today’s Houston Matters, Houston Chronicle education reporter Ericka Mellon tells Michael Hagerty why the NHTSA’s position has changed, and why what has long been a safety requirement in cars is just now being applied to school buses.

Also this hour: Project organizers will hold a community meeting Tuesday (Dec. 8, 2015) as part of the city of Houston’s process for creating historic preservation design guidelines in three Houston Heights historic districts. They wanted to know what property owners think about the guidelines in place covering changes they might want to make to their historic homes or buildings. Houston Matters’ Maggie Martin learns more from project manager Steph McDougal.

Then: Terri Langford, reporter at the Texas Tribune, has been following a story that has upended the procedures at the Harris County Sheriff’s Office, among other law enforcement agencies here in Greater Houston. They all had contracted with a Houston woman, Carol Busick, to perform psychological evaluations for nearly 2,000 officers. But an undercover agent found Busick wasn’t conducting face-to-face meetings. The Texas Commission on Law Enforcement is investigating. Houston Matters’ Paige Phelps talks with Langford about the case.

And: Researchers at UT Health have identified four groups of Houstonians who are at greatest risk of developing diabetes. The research is part of Cities Changing Diabetes, a global project between Houston and four other cities to research who’s most vulnerable to the disease, and identify and help implement solutions to prevent folks in these populations from developing diabetes. We talk with Dr. Stephen Linder about the findings, and the challenges that may lie ahead in reaching out to these identified groups.

Plus: In Harris County, more than one million residents were born in a foreign country. As part of Houston Public Media and the Houston Chronicle’s year-long series The Million, Houston Matters’ Edel Howlin and other foreign-born Houstonians talk about their lives here in Houston, and where they turn for homes away from home.

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